Men define “plus size” for us every time they look at us

I was part of a veritable row of can-can dancers on Elliptical Lane tonight at the gym. Like breathing cycles in a camping tent, we all began to sync and fall into each other’s rhythm. To add to the oddity, we all had the same body types. I suppose the elliptical speaks to us on a particular frequency.

That experience brought back a whole slew of memories; one in particular that makes me laugh and cringe…  For some reason I felt strongly about penning it in the blog for posterity. Allow me to set the scene:

I was much younger and thinner. I was dating an egregiously unsound individual who needed help and who was looking for it in the wrong places (to be fair, I was in a similar boat). He always talked about his ex by whom he was recently dumped (before meeting me online). Obviously, he was grieving, and I liked him enough that I wanted to help and support that process. At the time, I was a good samaritan type of girl who saw red flags and rallied instead of running. Anyway, he painted her as a “big girl”. It always seemed important to him that I know she was a “big girl”. I wouldn’t see that as a relevant detail when regaling someone with tales of heartbreak, but he thought so (again, red flags. Whoooosh, and over my head they went).

One day while at his apartment he laid out a dress of hers that he still had. He planned to mail it back. He might even have joked about giving it to me & that I wouldn’t fit it because, again, she was a big girl. I agreed he should send it back. It was still pressed and clean from the dry cleaners, and it was laid on the bed at such an angle that I could clearly see the label.

Me: I thought you said she was a “big girl”.

Him: Yeah?
Me: ……This is an 8.
Him: …
Me: -_-
Him: Yeah?
Me: …
Him: …
Me: I’m an 8.

I still laugh about this awkward exchange…. all of his absurd concepts of feminine beauty came crashing in at once as I put it all together. THIS, from a man so thin and Gollum-esque I was barely sexually attracted to him at all (but I thought he had a wonderful face and personality *snort*). It reminds me of the controversy over Amy Schumer’s being labeled “plus size” in Glamour last month even though she is a 6. A SIX!

Christ, this is why women have eating disorders, are constantly obsessive and upset about their appearance, and in many cases are pushing a body positivity movement. But that movement is difficult to get traction when so many women (and men like the one in the anecdote who reinforce these thoughts) think the quintessential feminine body is 90’s Kate Moss.

About Marpoo

Purveyor of sass and unsubstantiated rhetoric. View all posts by Marpoo

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